RadioLab is one of the most fun sources of science podcasting. Today I listened to a captivating story about the origin of the celebrated Heimlich maneuver, and the creator’s later departures from the scientific community.
Until the 1970s, thousands of people choked to death — leading to more accidental deaths than guns. But since then, thousands and thousands — maybe even millions — have been rescued by the Heimlich maneuver. Yet the story of the man who invented it may not have such a happy ending.
Producer Pat Walters wouldn’t be here without the Heimlich maneuver — it saved his life when he was just 11 years old. And one day he started wondering — who was Heimlich, anyway? And how did he come up with his choking remedy? Pat had always kinda assumed Heimlich died in the mid-1800s. Not so. The man is very much alive: he’s 93 years old, and calls Cincinnati, Ohio home.
As I listened to the story, at times heartbreaking because it referred to enduring conflict within Heimlich’s own family, I began to realize that John Friend‘s legacy will be similarly contested. Anusara and its Universal Principles of Alignment may for a time be household words, at least within yoga circles. Some will remain loyal, while moral entrepreneurs will challenge its orthodoxy. It remains to be seen whether his contributions will be actively erased, or endure as folk wisdom. The outcomes are not likely to be in the hands of any one person or group.
- Heimlich Warns Red Cross About Backslap Recommendation to Aid Choking Victims (prweb.com)
- Dr. Heimlich Fighting the Red Cross over Maneuver (jewishpress.com)
- Heimlich maneuver’s creator fights Red Cross (usatoday.com)
- Dr. Heimlich Is Horrified By The Red Cross’ Protocol For Saving Choking Victims (businessinsider.com)
- Dr. Heimlich Is Horrified By The Red Cross’ Protocol For Saving Choking Victims (ibtimes.com)
- Health: Local Radio Personality Saves Son’s Life (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Principal performs Heimlich maneuver on student (KOB.com)